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1.  Variation in Outcomes for Risk-Stratified Pediatric Cardiac Surgical Operations: An Analysis of the STS Congenital Heart Surgery Database 
The Annals of thoracic surgery  2012;94(2):564-572.
We evaluated outcomes for groups of risk-stratified operations in The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database to provide contemporary benchmarks and examine variation between centers.
Patients undergoing surgery from 2005 to 2009 were included. Centers with more than 10% missing data were excluded. Discharge mortality and postoperative length of stay (PLOS) among patients discharged alive were calculated for groups of risk-stratified operations using the five Society of Thoracic Surgeons-European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery Congenital Heart Surgery mortality categories (STAT Mortality Categories). Power for analyzing between-center differences in outcome was determined for each STAT Mortality Category. Variation was evaluated using funnel plots and Bayesian hierarchical modeling.
In this analysis of risk-stratified operations, 58,506 index operations at 73 centers were included. Overall discharge mortality (interquartile range among programs with more than 10 cases) was as follows: STAT Category 1 = 0.55% (0% to 1.0%), STAT Category 2 = 1.7% (1.0% to 2.2%), STAT Category 3 = 2.6% (1.1% to 4.4%), STAT Category 4 = 8.0% (6.3% to 11.1%), and STAT Category 5 = 18.4% (13.9% to 27.9%). Funnel plots with 95% prediction limits revealed the number of centers characterized as outliers by STAT Mortality Categories was as follows: Category 1 = 3 (4.1%), Category 2 = 1 (1.4%), Category 3 = 7 (9.7%), Category 4 = 13 (17.8%), and Category 5 = 13 (18.6%). Between-center variation in PLOS was analyzed for all STAT Categories and was greatest for STAT Category 5 operations.
This analysis documents contemporary benchmarks for risk-stratified pediatric cardiac surgical operations grouped by STAT Mortality Categories and the range of outcomes among centers. Variation was greatest for the more complex operations. These data may aid in the design and planning of quality assessment and quality improvement initiatives.
PMCID: PMC4006082  PMID: 22704799
2.  Outcomes of Reparative and Transplantation Strategies for Multilevel Left Heart Obstructions With Mitral Stenosis 
The Annals of thoracic surgery  2008;86(4):1305-1310.
Conventional management for multilevel left heart obstructions and mitral stenosis (Shone’s complex) involves multiple operations that carry additive risks. This study reviews our experience with reconstructive and transplantation approaches for Shone’s complex.
Between 1987 and 2007, 43 patients with mitral stenosis and one or more left-sided obstructions were identified: supramitral ring (n = 13), subaortic stenosis (n = 25), aortic stenosis (n = 24), hypoplastic arch (n = 20), and coarctation (n = 38). Thirty patients underwent a staged reparative approach, including 27 mitral and 51 left ventricular outflow tract operations. Thirteen patients were referred for transplantation. Patients with severe hypoplasia of the left ventricle were excluded.
There was one in-hospital death (2.5%) and six late deaths (14.2%). Actuarial 5- and 10-year survival for staged surgical and transplantation was 88% vs 61.3% and 83.1% vs 61.3% (p = 0.035). At a mean follow-up of 7.9 years, freedom from mitral reoperation was 83.3% and freedom from reoperation for subaortic stenosis was 78.0%. Wait-list mortality was 13.3% (2 of 13). Wait-list time exceeding 90 days was an incremental risk factor for death after transplantation (p = 0.005).
Despite the challenges of a reparative strategy for Shone’s complex, favorable survival and durability outcomes can be expected. Heart transplantation, although avoiding the pitfalls of staged repair, confers increased risks from ongoing physiologic derangements due to uncorrected left heart inflow and outflow obstructions during the wait for donor heart availability.
PMCID: PMC3128450  PMID: 18805182
3.  Implications of incising the ventricular septum in double outlet right ventricle and in the Ross–Konno operation☆ 
Incision into the ventricular septum in complex biventricular repair is controversial, and has been blamed for impairing left ventricular function. This retrospective study evaluates the risk of a ventricular septal incision in patients undergoing double outlet right ventricle (DORV) repair and Ross–Konno procedure.
From January 2003 to September 2007, 11 patients with DORV had a ventricular septum (VS) incision and 12 DORV patients did not. Sixteen patients had a Ross–Konno, and 16 had an isolated Ross procedure. The ventricular septal incision was made to match at least the diameter of a normal aortic annulus. In DORV, the VSD was enlarged superiorly and to the left. In the Ross–Konno, the aortic annulus was enlarged towards the septum posteriorly and to the left.
The median follow-up for the study is 19 months (1 month–4 years). For DORV, there were no significant differences in discharge mortality ( p = 0.22), late mortality ( p = 0.48), or late mortality plus heart transplant ( p = 0.093). Although patients with DORV and VSD enlargement have a more complex postoperative course, there were no differences in ECMO use ( p = 0.093), occurrence of permanent AV block ( p = 0.55), left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ( p = 0.40), or shortening fraction (LVSF) ( p = 0.50). Similarly, for the Ross–Konno there were no significant differences in discharge mortality ( p = 0.30), late mortality ( p = NS), LVEF (p = 0.90) and LVSF ( p = 0.52) compared to the Ross, even though the Ross–Konno patients were significantly younger ( p < 0.0001).
Making a ventricular septal incision in DORV repair and in the Ross–Konno operation does not increase mortality and does not impair the LV function. The restriction of the VSD remains an important issue in the management of complex DORV. These encouraging results need to be confirmed by larger series.
PMCID: PMC3117298  PMID: 19269838
Double outlet right ventricle; Ventricular septal defect; Ross–Konno

Results 1-3 (3)